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Compare Space Heating Systems

space heating systems

Comparing propane heating with electric or heating oil systems? Get the facts with our research on efficiency, cost, energy use, and carbon emissions.

In colder climates, space heating represents almost half of the annual energy costs for a residence, so selecting the right heating system for new construction or retrofits is an important decision. An independent 2013 research study finds that systems incorporating high-efficiency propane furnaces cost less to purchase and have competitive energy costs in many scenarios. To learn more, check out the research findings below, or take the Propane Training Academy course, A Comparative Analysis of Residential Heating Systems.

Download the Research Findings


The Study

Energy costs associated with heating and cooling systems can vary widely, as can equipment efficiency and installation costs. But choosing the right system requires consideration of many complex factors, including the cost of equipment, system performance, service life, and impact on the environment.


Independent research firm Newport Partners used building energy modeling to compare 15 different heating systems using propane, electricity, or heating oil in new and existing homes in 20 locations across the United States.

The Results

The study established that in most cases, systems incorporating high-efficiency propane furnaces cost less to purchase and install than comparable heating systems running on heating oil or electricity. Further, the propane furnaces operated at energy costs that were competitive with other systems, making them a better overall value in many cases than systems known for their energy savings, such as ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). Propane furnaces also have the measurable environmental benefit of lower carbon emissions from system operation than many other alternatives.

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